Cisco Launches Predictive Services Apps Powered by AI

New offerings are designed to manage the fast-growing technical skills gap through usable expertise, intelligence and automation.


Plenty of companies are providing business analytics applications that can look at a company’s data, triangulate several different queries and provide guidance based on past information and events.

Cisco Systems on Oct. 17 joined a more select group of providers that are now offering old-school business analytics plus both advanced predictive and preemptive analytics capabilities. This group includes companies such as Adobe, IBM, Trianz, Domo, Predictive Technologies, Unifi, SAS and others.

Powered by its own artificial intelligence engine, Cisco’s new suite of predictive services is designed to anticipate IT failures, mitigate risk, reduce maintenance costs and assist organizations in attaining the necessary skills to transform their businesses.

Cisco’s new Business Critical Services and High-Value Services offerings, available starting Oct. 17, will enable organizations to invest more of their IT budgets in technology innovation amid a growing technical skills gap that poses an imminent threat to business continuity and growth, the company said.

Analytics Applications Aim to Bridge Huge Skills Gaps

“These new capabilities are all designed around filling skills gaps. The fact that we have a skills gap today isn’t going away, ever,” Joe Cozzolino, Cisco’s Senior Vice-President of Services, told eWEEK.

“For example, globally we have a deficit of 1 million people with security talent. That’s projected to grow to 1.5 million by 2020. We also have a 1 million-person shortage in data scientists and data analysts. So when you’re thinking about doing machine learning, analytics, AI--there’s a gap.

“That’s what we (in the services business) love. Whenever you have high complexity and low supply (of people to do the work), that’s a good place to be for the services business,” Cozzolino said with a laugh.

Conversely, the whole idea of these new cloud-based analytics applications is to cut down use of professional services whenever possible; those costs are hardly trivial. 

It's All About Machine Learning 

“By leveraging AI and machine learning to address critical IT issues, Cisco’s new services offerings will truly help our customers free up time to focus on the growing IT talent gap,” CEO Chuck Robbins said.

Here is what Cisco’s Business Critical Services and High-Value Services bring to the table: 

Cisco Business Critical Services:  These go beyond basic optimization to deliver more capabilities, including analytics, automation, compliance and security by Cisco Advanced Services’ technology experts to enable secure, efficient, and agile technology environment. Business Critical Services will help minimize human error and help extract the most value from products and solutions while creating a secure IT environment.

These next-generation optimization services enable organizations to reduce complexity and cost through automation, orchestration and technical expertise; accelerate business agility through advanced analytics and machine-learning capabilities to deliver critical insights that prioritize infrastructure and application recommendations; and reduce risk with automated compliance and remediation services, coupled with a robust security portfolio including incident response for threat protection.

Cisco High-value Services:  In order to help organizations better utilize advanced software, solutions and the network, Cisco is delivering what it calls high-value services. This portfolio builds on the company’s product support services with offerings that use analytics, onboarding, expertise and scale to deliver more proactive and prescriptive services.

  • Software support: Provides support for Cisco software. New high-value services features includes multi-level service options enhanced and premium, in addition to basic level (reactive) support.
  • Solution support: Provides centralized support for Cisco hardware, software and third-party partner solutions from first call to resolution. Solution support is the default service offering for Cat 9K/DNA enhancing the customer experience.
  • Network support: Technical Services Advantage provides network-level support.

For more information, see Cozzolino’s blog here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...